We report a study which measured changes to the radiative environment arising from stratospheric O3 depletion at Rothera Point on the western Antarctic Peninsula (67°S, 68°W) and subsequent associations between these changes and the pigmentation and maximum quantum yield of photochemistry (Fv/Fm) of two Antarctic bryophytes, the liverwort Cephaloziella varians and the moss Sanionia uncinata. We found a strong relationship between O3 column depth and the ratio of UV-B to PAR irradiance (FUV-B/FPAR) recorded at ground level. Weaker, but significant, associations were also found between O3 column depth and noon irradiances and daily doses of unweighted and biologically effective UV-B radiation received at ground level. Regression analyses indicated that FUV-B/FPAR and daily dose of unweighted UV-B were best predictors for concentrations of total carotenoids and UV-B screening pigments extracted from bryophyte tissues. Concentrations of these pigments were loosely but significantly positively associated with O3-dependent irradiance parameters. HPLC analyses of carotenoids also suggested that both species increased the synthesis of neoxanthin during periods of O3 depletion. Violaxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin and b,bββ-carotene concentrations were also apparently influenced by O3 reduction, but not consistently across both bryophyte species. Concentrations of chlorophylls a and b were apparently unaffected by O3 depletion. No direct associations between Fv/Fm and O3-dependent irradiance parameters were found. However stepwise multiple regression analyses suggested that the production of UV-B screening pigments conferred protection from elevated FUV-B/FPAR on Fv/Fm in both species and that carotenoids conferred protection on Fv/Fm in Sanionia. Our data suggest that changes to the radiative environment associated with stratospheric O3 depletion influence the pigmentation of two Antarctic bryophytes, but that Fv/Fm is unaffected, at least in part because of rapid synthesis of protective pigments.
Four halons (H-1301, H-1211, H-2402 and H-1202) have been measured in air samples collected from polar firn from Dome Concordia (Dome C), Antarctica, from Devon Island, Canada and the North Greenland Ice Core Project (NGRIP) site, Greenland. H-2402 and H-1202 are reported for the first time in firn air. The depth profiles show the concentrations of all four halons to be close to zero (i.e. below the detection limit of 0.001 ppt) at the base of the firn thus demonstrating their entirely anthropogenic origin. This is the first evidence of this for H-2402 and H-1202. A 2-D atmospheric model was run with emissions previously derived using archive air measurements from the southern hemisphere mid-latitudes to produce historical trends in atmospheric concentrations at the firn sites, which were then input into a firn diffusion model to produce concentration depth profiles for comparison with the firn measurements. This comparison provides an evaluation of the model-derived atmospheric concentration histories in both hemispheres and thus an indirect evaluation of the emission rates and distributions used in the atmospheric model. Atmospheric concentration trends produced using global emissions previously determined from measurements at Cape Grim are found to be consistent with the firn data from the southern hemisphere. Further emissions of H-1202 in recent years (late 1980s onwards) are likely to have come from latitudes mostly south of 40° N, but emissions prior to that may have come from further north. Emissions of H-1211 may also have shifted to latitudes south of 40° N during the late 1980s. Following comparison of the atmospheric model output with the firn data, modelled atmospheric trends of total organic bromine in the form of halons were derived for both polar regions.
Back to overview,Home naval-today HMS Edinburgh to Be Decommissioned Soon (UK) May 16, 2013 View post tag: Defence View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Naval View post tag: europe View post tag: HMS View post tag: Decommissioned View post tag: UK View post tag: soon Type-42 destroyer HMS Edinburgh is the last of her class and is being decommissioned later this month to make way for the brand new Type 45 destroyers, of which five are now in active Service.Bowing out after three decades and with more than 793,500 miles of global operational service under her belt, the ship sailed into Ocean Terminal at 6am for a week-long celebration of her 30 year affiliation with Scotland’s capital city.Affectionately known as The Fortress of the Sea, HMS Edinburgh’s final sojourn in her twinned city, Edinburgh, promises to be one of pageantry, poignancy and celebration of a close relationship which has meant much to the thousands of sailors who have served on board during that time, as well as to the cityfolk who have repeatedly welcomed her back to her spiritual home.On Friday, members of the crew, at the invitation of Edinburgh City Council will exercise their Freedom of the City with a Privilege Parade through the city’s historic streets.Starting out from Broad Pavement Car Park at Palace of Holyrood at 11am, the parade will march past the Scottish Parliament, up the Royal Mile and halt on High Street beside the Wellhead, where they will conduct ceremonial Divisions, a formal inspection by the Lord provost and FOSNNI.They will then continue up the Mile with an official salute is taken by the Lord Provost, the Right Honourable Donald Wilson, in front of the City Chambers at 11.50am. The parade will finish in the Lawnmarket.And the city will then further honour her long and strong relationship with the ship by hosting members of the crew at a special reception in the Chambers.The pomp and ceremony, however, gives way to more informal hospitality on Saturday, as the ship throws open her gangway for the final time to the Edinburgh public from 11am to 5pm.“There is no easy way to bid farewell to a strong affiliation like the one HMS Edinburgh has enjoyed with this most historic city,” said HMS Edinburgh’s Commanding Officer, Commander Nick Borbone.“Scottish hospitality is legendary and throughout the three decades of service which this ship has given, the fondness shown to HMS Edinburgh by the city has grown stronger and stronger.Such support cannot be underestimated and, while we will of course feel much sadness, it is also a time for celebration of this long relationship and the great service of this fine ship.“We are absolutely honoured to be invited by Edinburgh City Council to exercise our Freedom of the City with a Privilege Parade on Friday and hope that local people will come out to support the ship’s company as it marches through the streets.“And on Saturday from 11am to 5pm we look forward to repaying just some of the kindness and support we have had over many years by welcoming local people on board HMS Edinburgh for the final time. I know that my crew and I are particularly looking forward to meeting everyone.”HMS Edinburgh will sail from Leith on Tuesday May 21 for the final time, leaving her berth at approximately 11am. She will then stop in at Liverpool before making her way home to Portsmouth on May 31.[mappress]Press Release, May 16, 2013 View post tag: Defense View post tag: Edinburgh View post tag: Navy HMS Edinburgh to Be Decommissioned Soon (UK) Share this article
Bako North Western is holding a seasonal showcase to help bakers’ festive products stand out.The event, on 22-23 September, at its premises in Preston, Lancashire, aims to give visitors ideas for Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. At least 30 key suppliers will be on hand over the two days, suggesting innovative recipes and holding hands-on product-making demonstrations, as well as giving out samples to taste. The company also promises opportunities to find out more about the benefits of working with Bako North Western, as visitors can attend supplier demonstrations at its new facilities, The Bakory, followed by a tour around the warehouse and distribution centre. Bako North Western will also be presenting awards to the winners of the Bakery Challenge 2010 competition, held the previous day, in which participants will compete in one of six categories.Register your details and preferred day of attendance by emailing email@example.com, or telephone 01772 664300.
The first of these is to address the work of the wider professionals involved in a child’s life.This ranges from GPs, health visitors, speech, language and communication therapists and many more. Health visitors play a particularly important role in identifying and supporting children with speech, language and communication needs.That is why my Department – in partnership with Public Health England – will train 1,000 health visitors. Wave 1 will begin shortly in areas of high need, including Oldham and Tameside.This is an area where Greater Manchester is really blazing a trail – both through your language pathway and your investment in tools to identify speech, language and communication needs early. Together these are designed to support the local workforce to identify speech, language and communication needs as early as possible and put in place support that is needed.Again, this is an important example of how Government can take innovative practice and take it to scale. My Department – again in partnership with Public Health England – is developing a new bespoke early language assessment tool, under government copyright, that will be made available to health visitors and professionals across a wide range of local authorities in need.Today, I am pleased to announce that the University of Newcastle, led by James Law – Professor of Speech and Language Science – will develop our early language assessment tool. The team working on this tool has extensive expertise in speech and language therapy, health visiting and general practice, and academic expertise in linguistics, psychology and statistics.We are also working with Public Health England to publish early language pathway guidance which will support local areas to develop and implement their own pathway – similar to that which you have done in Greater Manchester. You have really been the pioneers of this.Of course, the most important people in a child’s life are their parents. Which brings me onto the second area I want to talk about – improving the Home Learning Environment. Because the evidence is clear that what happens at home in the early years is absolutely key to outcomes later in life.That is why, in November, the Department held a summit, at which we brought together a coalition of over 120 businesses, voluntary groups, community and public sector organisations. These organisations all share a common goal – to help parents kick start their child’s early communication, language and literacy development at home.We want to get across that there are really simple, everyday things that every parent can do more of to help their children’s language and literacy.Since the summit, I have been working with some of these organisations to bring their commitments to life, and it is no surprise to me to find that there is some excellent, innovative practice here in Manchester. Today after this summit, I am visiting Manchester City Football Club, to observe one of their sessions that uses physical activity to enhance children’s communication and language.Our next steps are to launch a public campaign to encourage parents to chat, play and read more with their children. I recognise that it is important to get this message out there in local communities if we want to see a change in parental behaviour, and for this to work, I will really need your help and expertise.Our public, private and voluntary sectors are all a vital part of this coalition. From early years settings to libraries, from health visitors to local employers, everyone has an important role to play as part of this society-wide mission to improve the home learning environment.One of the most important contributions comes, of course, from early years professionals. And this brings me onto the third and final area I want to talk about today – which is supporting the work of our early years settings.I am always struck by the passion and commitment that I see first-hand when I visit early years settings up and down the country. I want to be able to support you to do your job as best as I can.I know this is a key focus for Greater Manchester. It is for me too. My department’s Workforce Strategy, published in March 2017, has resulted in a number of developments to support the early years sector in recruiting, retaining and developing its workforce. These include publishing new level 2 qualification criteria, and a new early years career progression map – both developed through work with sector stakeholders.I am also delighted to hear that you are encouraging and supporting the use of apprenticeships for your early years workforce. For employers, developing well trained and highly motivated staff who work to the standards they expect is hugely valuable. I am an enthusiastic supporter of apprenticeships and the grow-your-own ethos of the sector.I also want to address the importance of continued professional development, which I know is another key focus for Greater Manchester. This is why my Department – in partnership with the Education Endowment Foundation – is investing £5 million to fund and evaluate projects focused on high quality professional development and practice in the early years.And I recently announced a £20m Early Years Professional Development Fund, to help practitioners improve children’s early language, literacy and numeracy. This will be delivered via a ‘train the trainer’ model – much like your planned workforce academy. We recently tendered for a national training partner and are currently assessing the bids. I hope to be in a position to announce the preferred bidder shortly.Now there is one small but important group of early years settings that I want to mention in particular – Maintained Nursery Schools.The supplementary funding that my Department provides local authorities to enable them to protect Maintained Nursery School funding and reflect their higher costs is due to end by March 2020. What happens after that will be determined by the Spending Review. But the Spending Review has not yet happened, and this has created an unusual problem for local authorities and Maintained Nursery Schools.Rightly, you want to allocate places in Maintained Nursery Schools for this September in good faith, but without knowing whether the summer term of 2020 will be fully funded.Today I can reassure you that you can indeed offer places in good faith. We will provide local authorities with a further £24 million for their Maintained Nursery Schools, to enable them to continue funding them at a higher rate for the whole of the 2019-20 academic year.This should remove the immediate concerns about Maintained Nursery Schools. I know that this does not answer the question about their long-term future. But I think this is a pragmatic response – I hope you’ll agree – that recognises the excellent work that many Maintained Nursery Schools do. And it allows the Spending Review to determine the longer-term future of Maintained Nursery Schools, alongside wider early years considerations. Thank you very much for inviting me. A particular thanks to the member for Manchester Central, Lucy Powell, for inviting me here today, and for continuing to keep the political focus on school readiness in Greater Manchester.I am truly delighted to see such a range of early years professionals here today, and I would like to personally thank you for the hard work that you do. I know that all of you – whatever your role – share my passion and enthusiasm for ensuring our children get the best start in life.School readiness is hugely important, and that is why the Department for Education has such a focus on the early years, and on improving communication and language skills in particular.This is something that is very personal to me. Some of you may know that, at the age of nine when I came to this country from Baghdad, I couldn’t speak English, and I used to sit at the back of the classroom so the teachers didn’t ask me to speak in class. Sometimes when I got a bit more confident I tried to bring a few sentences together. My teachers thought I had learning difficulties. I now stand before you as MP for Shakespeare! But I had great parents and some great role models, and I learned English and then learned that being able to express yourself is the gateway to success, not just in school but in later life.It’s these crucial early years that make the most impact on a child’s future path – because for those children who start out behind their peers, it’s so much harder to catch up. All the evidence tells us that we need to improve children’s communication and language before they arrive at school, to get them on track to be confident, able learners.The Education Secretary has set a challenging ambition to halve the proportion of children leaving reception without the communication, language and literacy skills they need to thrive, over the next ten years. If we are to meet this ambition, we need to find new and creative ways of supporting children and families – as well as our workforce.Greater Manchester is leading the way, and I am delighted to be here to talk about how we can work together to design and deliver systems both locally and nationally that can hopefully ensure every child is able to thrive when they start school.I strongly believe that a key role for us in central Government is to support local leaders and professionals to innovate; and for Government to ensure the best ideas are able to flourish. The Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme has been a successful example of that approach. And our £6.5m Early Outcomes Fund draws on those lessons to help local authorities improve how they deliver services to improve early language outcomes. We will announce the outcome of that fund very shortly.Today I want to highlight some further examples of where local innovation and central policymaking are coming together to drive progress towards our shared ambition. These broadly cover three areas. I have set out this morning some examples of the relationship between central government and local leaders and professionals working at its best, taking innovations to scale. In short, if we are to improve outcomes for disadvantaged children, we must think about how we can do things differently – including through parents.No parent has all the answers – so we need to make it easier for them to kickstart their child’s learning at the earliest opportunity, whether by encouraging them to take part in educational activities as a family, support from trained experts at home to identify concerns earlier, or better access to high-quality early years education.” I look forward to working together to give all children the best chance to flourish at school and in later life.Thank you.
Edit this setlist | More Neil Young + Promise of the Real setlists[H/T – JamBase] Neil Young continued his current European tour with current backing band Promise of the Real on Thursday night with a performance at AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France. Promise of the Real, which includes Willie Nelson‘s sons Lukas and Micha Nelson, has been touring with Young since last year in support of their collaborative 2015 album The Monsanto Years, their third studio album and Young’s thirty-sixth.While Young had performed his hit song “Old Man” a handful of times on this tour during the solo portion of the performances, Thursday’s show was highlighted by the first live rendition of the song by Young with the full support of Promise of the Real. The band also tackled “Like An Inca” (from Young’s 1982 album Trans) in the encore slot, laying into the band with tight improv for just its second outing since 1982. You can watch fan-shot video of “Old Man” and “Like An Inca” from the Paris show below, courtesy of YouTube users Gerard Rallo and Jean-Paul Pelicant:“Old Man”:“Like An Inca” encore:
On October 3rd, Garcia’s at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, will be hosting a hurricane relief benefit in honor of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. Dubbed “Texas Flood: A Stevie Ray Vaughan Birthday Benefit For Victims of Hurricane Harvey,” the concert falls on the birthday of the late guitar legend and will see Scott Sharrard and friends performing Vaughan’s first album, Texas Flood, in its entirety in addition to a classic blues performance by Ryan “Shwizz” Liatsis and his trio. In addition to a full night of music, the proceeds from the concert will go toward the Houston Food Bank, which has been hard at work in recent weeks following the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey.Tickets for the upcoming benefit are available here, with more information about the night available on The Capitol Theatre’s website here.
German Hygiene Museum Nazi officials at the “The Miracle of Life” exhibition, German Hygiene Museum, Dresden, 1935. The new Nazi museum leadership asserted that societies resembled organisms that followed the lead of their brains. The most logical social structure was one that saw society as a collective unit, literally a body guided by a strong leader. Credit: National Archives and Records Administration ‘Deadly Medicine’ Eugen Fischer Eugen Fischer reading Heredity Journal. Fischer, director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Eugenics, and Human Heredity from 1927 to 1942, authored a 1913 study of the racially mixed children of Dutch men and Hottentot women in German southwest Africa. Fischer opposed “racial mixing,” arguing that “Negro blood” was of “lesser value” and that mixing it with “white blood” would bring about the demise of European culture. After 1933, Fischer adapted his institute’s activities to serve Nazi anti-Semitic policies. He taught courses for SS doctors, served as a judge on Berlin’s Hereditary Health Court, and provided hundreds of opinions on the paternity and “racial purity” of individuals, including the Mischlinge offspring of Jewish and non-Jewish German couples. Credit: Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin-Dahlem Racial classification Head shots showing various racial types. Most Western anthropologists classified people into “races” based on physical traits such as head size and eye, hair, and skin color. This classification was developed by Eugen Fischer and published in the 1921 and 1923 editions of Foundations of Human Genetics and Racial Hygiene. Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Dinaric Heads of racial types, created by anthropologists from plaster molds of the faces of living subjects, were mass-produced in Nazi Germany for use in exhibitions and racial hygiene classes. This head portrays the “Dinaric” (Balkan) racial type. Credit: Blinden-Museum an der Johann-Agust-Zeune-Schule fur Blinde, Berlin The table slab was cold and hard beneath 6-year-old Irene Hizme as doctors and nurses took measurements and blood samples. She didn’t know what was happening to her, and by the time it was all over, she wouldn’t care. She was found lying nearly comatose on the ground by a woman who brought her home to begin her recovery.Though it’s routine for children to be examined by physicians, that was hardly the case here. Her doctor was Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi who conducted cruel experiments on inmates at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.Hizme, who survived both her imprisonment and Mengele’s experiments, told her story to a rapt audience at Harvard Medical School’s Joseph Martin Conference Center in the New Research Building on April 14. Hizme was participating in a program to kick off the opening of an exhibit at Harvard Medical School’s Countway Library of Medicine, “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race.”The exhibit, created by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in collaboration with a long list of institutional sponsors, addresses physicians’ roles in the evolution of what became the Holocaust through the early decades of the 1900s to the horror of its full execution during World War II.The exhibit presents an eye-opening look at some of the lesser-known programs — many of which involved physicians — that established the Nazi philosophy of racial improvement and then implemented it through the 1930s. These programs began in 1933 with forced sterilization of the blind, deaf, alcoholics, physically deformed, and other groups judged inferior. In 1939, the murders began of thousands of children born with deformities, moving on to the killings of hundreds of thousands of adults institutionalized for mental illness and other causes. That program saw the development and use of gas chambers, later employed against Europe’s Jews and other groups in Nazi death camps.When Hizme, who was born in Prague, arrived at Auschwitz, she remembered the stifling, stinking conditions in the cattle car she and others rode and how relieved everyone was when the doors opened at their destination and let in fresh air. The relief for the 6-year-old and others didn’t last long, as they were rousted from the car and sorted, a duty carried out by doctors, with some prisoners going to the camp and others to the gas chambers.Because Mengele had an interest in twins for his heredity experiments, she and her brother were kept alive. She believes that she was experimented on while her brother was used as a control. She recalled X-rays and many injections whose contents she still doesn’t know, and of being sick in the camp hospital many times. During one of those times, all the patients were gassed, while she was saved by a nurse who hid her under her skirt.“I was young, so I really did not understand what was going on,” Hizme said.Julie Hock, New England regional director of the U.S. Holocaust Museum, said the organization has had many exhibits over the years, but this is the first that begins to answer the question on people’s minds as they try to grasp the enormity of what happened: How was this humanly possible?Susan Bachrach, the exhibit’s curator, and Boston University Professor Michael Grodin, who has written about Holocaust doctors, laid out how the rediscovery of Gregor Mendel’s genetics experiments led to the growth of the global eugenics movement in the early 1900s. Eugenics organizations, seeking human perfection, were active in many countries, including Germany and the United States. In America, many states had forced-sterilization programs, backed by the Supreme Court, which in 1927 upheld Virginia’s such program for the “feebleminded.”Grodin said physicians played not just a bit part, but a central role in both the eugenics philosophy and in its eventual translation into Nazi programs to “disinfect” society. Doctors had a much greater representation in the Nazi Party than average Germans and played key roles throughout.“Physicians were not victims; they were perpetrators,” Grodin said. “Nothing was inevitable; choices were made.”In his research, Grodin sought to determine why physicians who pledge to improve human life wound up joining with the Nazis instead. He said there were some traits that might explain some physician participation — such as a willingness to dehumanize patients, an ability to compartmentalize their own lives, and a feeling of omnipotence — but added there was no way of predicting who would wind up embracing Nazi activities, just as there was no way of predicting who would wind up protecting the persecuted, risking their own lives.Grodin cautioned against thinking that the Holocaust was an isolated event, and exhibit organizers said the displays are intended to provide food for thought for some of today’s ethical questions. After all, Grodin said, black soldiers who liberated the prison camps were fighting in segregated companies, interracial marriage was outlawed in many states, and medical experiments in the United States have been repeatedly carried out against unwilling participants.Grodin cited the Willowbrook experiments, in which hepatitis was given to mentally retarded children in New York for 14 years in the 1950s and 1960s, the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, carried out on unsuspecting black men between 1932 and 1972, and the injection of patients at the Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital with live cancer cells in 1962.Grodin said the Holocaust reached the scale it did because it was state-sponsored instead of just supported by individuals. Still, he said, it is instructive to understand the smaller steps that ultimately led to the Nazi death camps.“I think we have to be very concerned when we take small steps,” Grodin said. Enst Wentzler Enst Wentzler treats a child with rickets. Wentzler’s Berlin pediatric clinic served many wealthy families and high-ranking Nazi officials. Although Wentzler developed methods to treat premature infants or children with severe birth defects, he supported ending the lives of the “incurably ill” and served as a primary coordinator of the pediatric “euthanasia” program, evaluating patient forms and ordering the killing of several thousand children. Credit: National Library of Medical Science, Bethesda, Md.
A Senate panel today adopted a proposal by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) to make big oil traders divulge reserves held in offshore tankers to skirt reporting requirements, distort supply records and artificially drive up prices. As oil prices rose to $69 a barrel, near the record high for the year, Sanders also announced that he will introduce legislation to require the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to use emergency powers to stem oil price manipulation.The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee folded Sanders proposal on offshore hoarding into legislation aimed at promoting oil and gas exploration. The amendment would require the 50 largest traders of oil contracts to report to federal regulators all of their oil reserves that are stored offshore.Global diesel storage at sea has climbed to about 41 million barrels, Reuters reported today, citing traders and shipbrokers. Seven tankers with an estimated 14 million barrels of North Sea crude are anchored off Great Britain, Bloomberg reported. JP Morgan Chase recently hired a ship to store up to 2 million barrels of heating oil off the coast of Malta. These companies are hoarding heating oil right now, in the hope of selling it at a higher price this winter when senior citizens on fixed incomes and middle class Americans in cold-weather states need heating oil to stay warm, Sanders said.Since the storage of oil in oversees tankers is not reported to the federal government, the practice already is distorting supplies and leading to unnecessarily high prices. We cannot allow this to continue, especially when the firms that are taking advantage of this situation have received the largest taxpayer bailout in the history of the world, the senator said.Sanders proposal drew support from US and Vermont fuel dealers. Giving federal regulators the necessary authority to bring greater transparency to these markets is a top priority to ensure that these markets are stable and reliable, wrote Dan Gilligan of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, Shane Sweet of the New England Fuel Institute, and Matt Cota of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association.With demand down and oil supplies up, Sanders also planned to introduce legislation directing federal regulators to stop speculators from artificially driving up prices. The bill introduction follows a letter Sanders sent to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission urging it to seize this opportunity to redefine the CFTC as a strong regulator that will do everything within its power to benefit consumers.Commissioner Bart Chilton reacted in a letter today. I wholeheartedly agree with you that the time to act on these issues is now, and the CFTC should aggressively utilize all available authorities ¦to address these pressing issues, Chilton wrote to Sanders.Source: Sanders’ Office. WASHINGTON, June 9
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Anyone can push a lawnmower across their yard, but some think of their grass as a blank canvas that demands nothing less than the creativity of a professional in the landscaping arts.That’s where Harder Services, K&D Tree Masters and Atlas Asphalt all come in. The three locally based companies each rank at the top in their respective fields of prettying up the exteriors of homes on Long Island — lawns, trees and driveways included.“The most important thing that we can offer to our customers is the promise that they will be treated with respect, courtesy and honesty and all work will be handled in a professional manner,” says Jack Harder, owner of Harder Services, a nearly century-old, fourth-generation family business based in Hempstead.With such deep roots in the community, it’s no wonder Harder won Best Landscaping on Long Island in the 2018 Bethpage Best of Long Island competition. K&D Tree Masters earned the title of Best Tree Service on Long Island in that annual contest. And the public voted Atlas Asphalt the Best Mason on Long Island this year.All three won high praise from their clientele — no small feat in a suburban community where homeowners are known for having uncompromisingly high standards.Harder’s work has been on display at the new Yankee Stadium, Lincoln Center, Roosevelt Field Mall and dozens of other high-profile locations.At Atlas, this leader in the paving industry has had a reputation for quality, integrity, safety, and customer satisfaction for the past 30 years. The proof is in the paving: They’ve resurfaced millions of square feet of blacktop across Long Island. Their expert craftsmen also do masonry and sealcoating for commercial and residential clients.And K&D won high marks for their responsiveness after Sandy downed countless trees across LI.“After other tree companies did not return calls, or show up to quote, I was given the number for K&D,” one Massapequa woman says. “They hustled from the minute they got there.”To find all the other 2017 Best of Long Island contest winners, visit bestoflongisland.com Winners of the 2018 contest will be announced in February. Nominate your favorite businesses and people in the 2019 Best of Long Island program starting Jan. 1.K & D Tree Masters can be reached at 631-957-8542 or k-d-tree-masters.com Harder Services, Inc. can be reached at 516-481-8800 or harderservicesinc.comAtlas Asphalt is located at 117 Brook Ave. in Deer Park. They can be reached at 631-242-5100 or atlasasphalt.com